Do Wind Farms Put Fort Drum's Future At Risk?Posted: Updated:
There are now 3 voices echoing the same concern: do proposed wind farms near Fort Drum pose a threat to the installation's future?
The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization put out a statement Tuesday pointing to the adverse effects wind farms have on radar capabilities at Fort Drum's Wheeler Sack Army Airfield.
"The airspace here is extremely valuable. If there was any impairment to that ability to use that airspace, that would be detrimental to Fort Drum," said Brian Ashley, FDRLO executive director.
Ashley says he has seen what he calls "black holes" in Fort Drum's radar caused by the two existing wind farms in the north country.
Aside from FDRLO, north country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is addressing the wind farms.
In a letter to Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, Stefanik asks the Department of Defense and Department of the Army to review wind projects in areas around military installations more strictly.
Last week, state Assemblywoman Addie Jenne said she plans to introduce legislation to prevent wind projects near post from receiving state subsidies.
Ashley is also concerned by the prospect of Fort Drum being closed if Congress decides to do another round of Base Realignments and Closures. Should that happen, he says Fort Drum needs to be at its best."
"We wanna be able to say, 'Everything's in place. They're operating at maximum efficiency. They're capable and ready in a moment's notice, not to just take on the current missions, but future missions,'" he said.
Reacting to FDRLO's statement, Julie Halpin, Director of Fort Drum Public Affairs, said, "Fort Drum, as part of the north country, is for positive growth for our community. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of strategic planning so that our requirements are known to community and state leaders as well as developers."